Dynamic Chiropractic - April 24, 1995, Volume 13, Issue 09

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Book Reviews

Title: Chiropractic: An Illustrated History

Authors:   Dennis Peterson, Glenda Wiese
Category:  doctor, student, patient education
Price:     $80
Please see #T-162 on the Preferred Reading and Viewing List, pages 36-37 for ordering information.

Seldom have I been as excited about a new book as I have about Chiropractic: An Illustrated History. The authors have produced a most remarkable work on the history of the chiropractic profession. Mr. Peterson and Ms. Wiese have assembled a who's who in chiropractic as contributors to their book: Russell Gibbons, Walter Wardwell, Joseph Keating, and Herbert Vear. The book contains 509 pages with 939 illustrations dating from the human race's earliest history of health care through the birth of chiropractic to its present evolution.

The book starts by tracing the antecedents to chiropractic from the neolithic period through various cultural and geographic practices of medicine. Dr. Pierre Louis Gaucher-Peslherbe recounts in this chapter a history of spinal manipulation in the Western world.

The discussion then turns to the status of American medicine in the 1800s and at the turn of the century. It is frightening to remember how little was known of proper health care at this time, the time of chiropractic's birth. There is also a discussion of the prominent alternative healers of the time.

Then comes D.D. Palmer. The authors trace D.D.'s entry into the health care field, his early studies and the evolution of what came to be called chiropractic. There is detailed discussion spanning several chapters of the chiropractic pioneers including Oakley Smith, John Howard, Willard Carver, and Hugh B. Logan. There is also detailed information concerning how certain families became involved in our developing profession.

The politics that threatened chiropractic's early existence is presented. The rise and fall of B.J. Palmer's influence in the profession, as detailed by Russell Gibbons, is most interesting. The maturation of the profession is covered in chapter five. There is quite a bit of information regarding chiropractic's battle in the courtrooms and legislatures. Many of the chiropractors who were jailed are discussed, and the chapter covers D.D.'s incarceration in the Scott County Jail.

Chiropractic's survival through the Depression, prior to World War II, and then the postwar boom make up chapters six and seven. The profession's and individual contributions to the war effort are illustrated in posters of that era. The opening of the first chiropractic hospital, Spears, is covered during this time. The development of accreditation by the national associations also takes place in this time frame.

Chiropractic's renaissance from 1963 to 1993 covers the expansion of the profession, the development of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Board, and the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. There is a detailed discussion of the anti-trust case against the AMA and co-defendents and its effect on the profession. The growth of conferences concerning spinal manipulation, beginning with the NINCDS in 1975, is covered as well as the increase in studies published in referred journals.

The next chapters discuss the numerous techniques and equipment used by chiropractors in removing the subluxation. There is an excellent chapter by Robin Canterbury, DC, DABCM, on the use of radiography by the chiropractic profession. The illustrations of some of the early equipment will remind many in the profession of how far we have come.

There is a chapter dedicated to the chiropractic schools, their early days, growth and maturation. The expansion of the number of schools is particularly dramatic. There are, again, numerous pictures of many of our schools from their early days. For many chiropractors this is sure to trigger fond memories of their days in school.

The final chapters discuss many of the pathfinders of our profession with a short synopsis of their contributions. There is also a chronology of the professional associations to which chiropractic has given birth and a discussion of chiropractic around the world.

Please excuse the length of this review, but a book as complete and thorough as Chiropractic: An Illustrated History deserves no less. I can give this book an unqualified rating of 10 plus.

In this centennial year, this is a "must read" book for everyone associated with the chiropractic profession.

Savoie Rating: 10 plus

Stephen Savoie, DC

Title:        Medicine at the Crossroads
Author:       Cordell E. Logan, PhD, ND
Publication:  Softcover, 386 pages
Publisher:    Self-published, 1994 W. Carriage Ave.,
Riverton, UT 84065
Category:     Health education
Cost:         $19.95
This book, intended as a replay of significant developments in the healing arts, cites both "common threads" and "polarity between conventional medicine and natural medicine." To that end, the topics discussed are exceedingly wide-ranging: history of healing, issues in health care, courses of study in healing arts, and treatises on specific healing methods and treatment of individual diseases.

The problems with this publication are evident from the very first chapter. In "Annals in History," all threads of continuity unravel; the chapter bounces back and forth from specific discoveries, individual biographies, prizes, discoveries, and "medicaments." Faults in grammar, run-ons, spelling, and typography abound. But by far the greatest deficit in this chapter (and several more) is the propensity to recount needless detail. I question the inclusion of miscellany such as the individual who named PABA, the coincidence of J. Hansler's birth with that of Beethoven, the death by smoking in bed of an anti-laetrile physician, and the place of birth of many persons with marginal roles in the history of health care. These constitute only a few of the hundreds of such irrelevant citations.

An exacting recapitulation of American history follows. Although excessively involuted, it provides some interesting notes on health care evolution in the U.S. The remainder of this publication covers specific health care regimens and the struggles of alternative medicine with allopathy. Most of the recounting is centered on medical bashing, victimization, suppression, conspiracy, and piracy. The information is scattered, unfocused, and in many instances, paranoid.

There is wonderfully poignant and significant detail in this book, but it is lost in minutiae and dangerous diatribe. Logan willingly recounts questionable studies relating homosexuality to the ingestion of processed food and improper upbringing. He cites extensive "cures" for this "affliction." He perpetuates myths of irrefutable male and female brain-sidedness. Logan recounts the suppression of many electronic and magnetic healing contraptions and the use of many dubious therapies such as color therapy, faith healing, psychic surgery, crystals, and ozone therapy as a cure for AIDS. The sole precaution Logan makes are to use moderation in hydrogen peroxide therapy and a proscription against channeling, according to Christian doctrine.

There are excellent elements on FDA abuses, quackery, and specific disease management alternatives, but they are lost. There is immoderate detail, obscurity, lack of focus, woefully inadequate professional precaution, and offensive moralism. I do not recommend this book, other than as an encyclopedia source for health care trivia.

Silvestrone rating: 3 out of 10